- Two Republicans are urging voters to ensure “rational Republicans” don’t lose the “GOP civil war.”
- They are the Trump official turned critic Miles Taylor and former Gov. Christine Todd Whitman.
- In a Monday op-ed article they said electing “moderate Democrats” was necessary in the short term.
Two GOP officials have urged Republicans in some cases to vote Democratic in the 2022 midterm elections as one of several ways to bolster the party from candidates they described as “pro-Trump extremists.”
Miles Taylor, a Trump-era Department of Homeland Security chief of staff, and Christine Todd Whitman, a former Republican governor of New Jersey, wrote a New York Times op-ed article that ran Monday. Taylor is best known for anonymously writing a 2018 op-ed article in The Times describing a “resistance” of Trump administration officials working to tamper what he called the former president’s “worst inclinations.”
Together, Taylor and Whitman asked that the GOP’s base consider supporting Democrats so “conservative pragmatists” could retake control of the party.
“Rational Republicans are losing the party civil war,” they wrote. “And the only near-term way to battle pro-Trump extremists is for all of us to team up on key races and overarching political goals with our longtime political opponents: the Democrats.”
They added: “It’s a strategy that has worked. Mr. Trump lost re-election in large part because Republicans nationwide defected, with seven percent who voted for him in 2016 flipping to support Joe Biden, a margin big enough to have made some difference in key swing states.”
The two argued that this move was necessary because the Republican leadership had “turned belief in conspiracy theories and lies about stolen elections into a litmus test for membership and running for office.” Taylor and Whitman also renewed a threat for them and more than 100 other former GOP officials to try to start a new center-right party if Trump-backed candidates continued to win Republican primaries.
“The best hope for the rational remnants of the Republican Party is for us to form an alliance with Democrats to defend American institutions, defeat far-right candidates, and elect honorable representatives next year — including a strong contingent of moderate Democrats,” Taylor and Whitman wrote.
Their strategy would involve GOP voters supporting Democrats like Rep. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, Rep. Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, and Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona in what they called “difficult races” likely to feature Trump-supported Republicans. They also advocated defending what they called a “small nucleus of courageous Republicans” such as Reps. Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, and Peter Meijer.
Kinzinger, for one, said in September that he thought the GOP shouldn’t win a majority in the House if it were “pushing division and pushing lies.” Cheney also said in September that she was not ready to cede the GOP to the “voices of extremism,” adding that many Republicans in the House and the Senate had cheered her on privately in her fight against Trump.
The Republican National Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.